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Senior Manager, Direct Response Fundraising

California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, CA
  • Expired: October 22, 2022. Applications are no longer accepted.

POSITION SUMMARY: Reporting to the Director of Development Operations, the Senior Manager, Direct Response Fundraising, leads and oversees the Academy's Friends Circle, annual fund, direct response fundraising efforts, and donor-facing digital communication strategy. This role is part of the Development division and works closely with the Marketing, Membership, and Development Teams to ensure online fundraising is effective and incorporated into our engagement strategies. This role will oversee the Program Manager, Direct Response Fundraising, and the Direct Response Fundraising Coordinator.


Join a team dedicated to the Academy's mission, vision,and values! ( Currently, the Academy has a new strategic plan ( including three initiatives - Hope for Reefs, Thriving California, and Islands 2030 - that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems worldwide. Learn more at

The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from many different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every one of the qualifications for the position. We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission.

This position is based in San Francisco, California. Please do not apply if you are not willing to relocate. Staff are currently expected to work from the Academy offices at least 2-3 times per week, which may fluctuate based on business needs. The candidate must easily be able to work onsite at the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park when needed. Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination, including receiving a booster shot, as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.

We are committed to ensuring diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are intrinsic to Academy culture and operations, from recruitment and retention to science and advocacy. Explore Our Commitment to Racial Equity ( to learn about our intentional engagement of traditionally excluded groups to spark interest in or foster pathways to scientific careers.


+ Develop, launch, and optimize annual direct response fundraising strategic plans, including the Friend's Circle, the Academy's mid-level giving program ($1,500-$24,999 gifts), and annual fund ($1-$1,499 gifts) in partnership with our outside fundraising agency.

+ Achieve budget goals and continue to grow goals as the program evolves, representing $3M+ annually.

+ Develop strategies in consultation with the Development, Membership, and Marketing teams to diversify and expand the donor and member base.

+ Collaborate with internal stakeholders to design and refine strategy, timing, messages, and segmentation - including segmenting donors and tailoring appeals and messaging after grouping our audiences to improve fundraising effectiveness.

+ Provide oversight for engaging donor journeys and campaigns through various touchpoints, including working closely with the Leadership Philanthropy team to ensure a robust pipeline of major gifts prospects and strategic, high-touch stewardship of mid-level donors.

+ Evaluate the effectiveness of the Friends Circle cultivation, renewal, and upgrade campaigns and refine strategies to grow revenue.

+ Optimize marketing automation and lead nurturing processes through email, content, and landing pages.

+ Advise on fundraising best practices using social media and digital ad-based lead generation and solicitation.

+ Forecast and manage the program's revenue goals and budget.

+ Partner in establishing success metrics for campaigns, use historical data to inform strategies, analyze campaign performance and create visualizations to present data and proposed optimizations in collaboration with our outside fundraising agency.

+ Develop and oversee fundraising and engagement copy for email, direct mail, web, and social media.

+ Oversee the Program Manager's work and provide production and implementation guidance and support.

+ Work closely with the Director of Development Operations and the Development Operations team to build and refine systems for annual fund and Friends prospects and analysis.

+ Work with Prospect Research Analyst to identify new annual fund and Friends donors and identify moves management strategies to lift current donors to Leadership Philanthropy.

+ Partner and help manage an annual calendar of stewardship events with the Donor Events team for Friends Circle supporters.

+ Collaborate closely with the Leadership Philanthropy, Donor Events, and Development Communications teams to create cross-functional solicitation strategies for prospects, including developing compelling crowdfunding campaigns, activities, and communications.

+ Follow all Academy safety regulations.

+ Other duties as assigned.


+ Bachelor's degree or advanced experience using direct marketing to solicit donations via digital and other channels: at least five years of combined experience in direct response, digital marketing, and/or online fundraising

+ At least three years of experience in a nonprofit environment or working with nonprofit clients.

+ Demonstrated expertise in digital data, google analytics, email analytics, and social media fundraising.

+ Solid knowledge of CRMs and marketing tools - experience with Tessitura is a plus.

+ Creative, conceptual, and donor-centric thinking and deep technical understanding.

+ Positive, flexible, and well-organized to thrive in a rapid environment and meet challenging deadlines.

+ A good attitude and sense of enjoyment when working with different groups of people, exploring diverse viewpoints, and finding points of agreement to move a project forward.

+ Interest and/or experience in museums and concepts related to biodiversity, regeneration, and the natural world.

+ Knowledge and interest in the Academy and enthusiasm for the mission and philanthropy are required.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to meet the job's essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, use a computer, and communicate on the phone, in person, and during online meetings/calls. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 90% of the time.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: The hiring committee will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please upload a resume and complete the brief online application.

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance ( (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensuring that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, place of birth, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, height or weight, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

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California Academy of Sciences


San Francisco, CA
94103 USA


Non Profit

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